Entering his fifth season, Derek Carr is the unquestioned leader of the Raiders offense. Blessed with a strong arm and big-play nerve, Carr seems like the perfect fit for the Oakland offense. However, if one hiccup exists, Carr’s inability to win at Arrowhead remains troubling. Although Carr owns two wins versus the Chiefs, both came in the comfortable confines of O.co. In order to win the AFC West and establish themselves as a constant threat, the Raiders need to win in Kansas City. To discuss, FPC Raiders writers Simmons, Aspuria, and Biggs figure out a permanent problem.
I have always felt the Raiders issue with KC has been their coaching staff. Often JDR was completely out coached and out maneuvered at every level by Andy Reid. Without having coached in 10 years, I still expect Gruden to step in as at least the second best coach in the division. Carr is certainly at least the second best quarterback in the division with the second best coach. The math becomes much easier than having maybe the third or fourth best coach in the division.
What helps Carr succeed will be a solid defense. If Paul Guenther gets his group in sync, Carr will finally have something he has not — a foil to Andy Reid’s offense. Too many times against KC, the Raiders offense has found itself outclassed and that was due in large part to a comically impotent defense. If the Raiders can give Carr more possessions, he can carve out a huge chunk of time of possession.
For one thing, the run game will ease Carr into the game plan. The weather at Arrowhead remains a complete mystery most of the time. As a result, The Raiders should look to pound the Chiefs into submission. When Kansas City stacks the box, the Raiders will see plenty of Green. Moreover, Marcus Peters leaving for LA weakens the Chiefs secondary. Not to mention the soft middle of their linebacking corps. Most importantly, Carr will not enjoy a scheme that actually adapts. Unlike 2017, where Carr would drop back in a 3rd and 8 and see a receiver running a five yard pattern.
In the end, Derek Carr’s early career failures in Kansas City could become history. However, the Raiders need to begin winning at a hated rival. With Patrick Mahomes leading a Chiefs’ offense, Carr and the Raiders now enjoy advantages. If Oakland breaks out to an early lead, can a second-year passer, actually lead them back. In addition, Carr shows a willing to engage in high-scoring shootouts.